Dr Oetker Ristorante Primo

The thin-crust duo will land from 14 August in all major grocers

Dr Oetker Ristorante has added Primo, a posher tier of frozen pizza, in a bid to lure shoppers from chilled and out-of-home alternatives.

Primo Salame Piccante Nduja and Primo Pollo Funghi Truffini (rsp: £4.40/350g-380g) will come at a 15% premium compared with the core Ristorante range – making them 125% pricier than the average frozen pizza [Circana/Kantar 52 w/e 8 July 2023].

The Primo lineup was a “midway point” between standard Ristorante pizzas and “super-premium” frozen options from the likes of Zizzi and Crosta & Mollica, said Dr Oetker Ristorante head of marketing Paula Wyatt.

She said the new SKUs would help “bridge the gap” to shoppers “for whom those products are definitely out of reach”.

The thin-crust duo will land from 14 August in all major grocers.

Also launching this month is Pepperoni Mozzarella Pesto (rsp: £3.85/360g) for Dr Oetker’s core range.

It came as the brand was seeing shoppers enter the £721m frozen pizza category due to the cost of living crisis, Wyatt said.

The price gap between out-of-home and frozen pizzas presented an opportunity to add value while remaining affordable to consumers, she added.

“We’ve got consumers trading into private label but we’ve also got lots of consumers coming into frozen from other formats like chilled and out-of-home pizza,” she said.

“Takeaway pizza is so expensive. You’re looking at a family spending in excess of £40 for pizza night and yet with chilled and/or frozen you’re looking at £10 maybe? It’s a huge difference.”

Ristorante had no plans to further premiumise by moving into chilled, after an unsuccessful venture into the sector by sister brand Chicago Town from 2019 to 2021, Wyatt explained.

The brand would however, undergo a “major transformation” of its branding and packaging.

The overhaul, which follows minor tweaks undertaken alongside HFSS reformulation last year, features new photography, design and updated colourways to signpost vegan and gluten-free options.

It will be supported by fully integrated £2.5m campaign starting with doorstep coupon-drops to half a million households at the start of next month.